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pink bow of surpassing width and shininess, was the acknowledged "swell dresser" of the department, and Miss Devons had frequently wondered how such a vision of loveliness could come out of the two small rooms where she dwelt with her mother and four sisters. Somehow or other the miracle was accomplished, and "M'ree's" M'ree's" clothes were ever the despair of her imitators. To-day, however, her superiority was threatened by the appearance of Louisa May in boots of the latest style. Of shining patent leather, they extended half-way to the knee, and then merged into stiff tops, with tassels of silk and gold thread. Before the glory of these, M'ree's boots of white kid, with black-eyed pearl buttons, faded into insignificance, and Miss Devons was obliged to remind the company that it is not customary for a lady to travel with her feet on the back of the seat in front of her before Louisa May could be induced to stop vaunting her glories in the air.

"Well, certainlee, Louisa May," M'ree declared, with a toss of her brown curls, "them boots is elegant; but Mommer thinks white boots is kind of refined for a party. I always wear black boots to church, except it's a holiday; but white boots is nice for the country, don't you think?"

M'ree's speech was as refined as her appearance, and the shot went home, for the audience well knew that Louisa May owned but the one pair of "dressy" boots.

"White boots is nice for kids,” she retorted; "but these is all the style for ladies."

M'ree colored hotly. She, who was six months the elder, to be accused of babyishness!

"Maybe you ain't never been down to Manhattan Beaches," she declared. "Mommer's cousin was down to it last summer, and she says as how the ladies sits in rows all day long, changing to clean pairs. She says how their gentlemen friends don't care nothin' for the clothes they puts on, but they don't let 'em step on their boats except they 're wearin' white shoes. She says she seen that continuously. So, there, Louisa May!"

Any one else would have been crushed by this evidence, but M'ree's opponent rallied nobly.

"Manhattan Beaches ain't so tony," she retorted loftily. "Mebbe

awful 'd


like to crawl along the floor an' see is Miss Devons wearin' white shoes, M'ree Ramsay."

"I'm wearing brown ones," Miss Devons interposed, hastening to interrupt a conversation which threatened to become as heated as the atmosphere. "I think both your boots are lovely, girls, and I feel quite shabby when I look at all these beautiful clothes."

She smiled upon the eager groups, and Florabel, gentlest of souls, hastened to reassure her.

"You ain't got no call to feel badly," she protested, inspecting Miss Devons's cool linen suit and broad-brimmed sailorhat. "It ain't all the time easy to wear your best clothes, an' what you got on is awful becomin', if they is kind o' plain."

Reassured as to her appearance, Miss Devons turned again to Etta, who had snuggled into her seat and was leaning against her shoulder.

"Are you comfy, honey?" she inquired, smiling into the upturned blue


"Jawohl," murmured Etta, basking in the sunshine of caresses. "I likes awful goot to be lofed like dis. Not for long haf I so lofed become. All times is it lonely here, an' I should to go home, you think?"

"Well, I don't know, deary," said Miss Devons, drawing the little figure closer. "You know your father wanted you to grow up here and learn all the wonderful things girls know in America; so suppose you try to like it better, and soon I think you won't be so lonely. Mrs. Sieling is very kind to you, is n't she?"

"Teacher, jawohl she iss kind. It iss not kind, but lofe I vants. So awful lonely am I all times for somebody to lofe me alone like mein fader did." And Etta's blue eyes wandered mournfully over the car, alighting, with the perversity of her sex, upon Mark, leader of the Avenue A gang and despiser of womankind. "I likes awful well to vash an' cook for some one vat lofes me," sighed Etta.

For a short space all was peaceful, and then from the end of the car, where some thirty boys were congregated, arose a wail of angry despair.

"You lie! It ain't so. You lemme git at him!"

Miss Devons extricated herself and went forward, for this promised trouble.


A ring of boys was formed about Paul, the youngest member of the department, whose fiery spirit and artistic nature made him an easy prey to tormentors. Paul was poor as to outward circumstances. even the holiday could alter his garb from the thin red sweater and patched trousers he wore the year round; but starved and frail as was his body, his eyes gleamed with an unconquerable spirit, and his nervous little fists were doubled up threateningly at big George Finsen, who leaned against the back of a seat as he repeated his taunt.

gently. "Why did George say you could "Hush, Paul!" Miss Devons interposed n't go in swimming? Don't you know how to swim?”

it last summer." "Yes, ma'am, I kin swim good. I learnt

are you laughing at, George?" "Then why should n't he go in? What

George was sniggering unpleasantly, rounding faces. and his mirth was reflected on the sur

"Teacher," it was Mark O'Reilley who stood forward,-"dat kid can't go in

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"You dassen't go in swimmin'. You knows you dassen't."

"What's the trouble, boys?" Miss Devons made her way into the circle and laid a soothing hand on Paul's arm. "Why should n't he go in swimming, George?"

But George, the son of the corner publican, only grinned foolishly and scrabbled on the floor with the toe of his shiny boots.

"I was only foolin' the kid," he muttered. "He's a reg'lar cry-baby. Can't say nothin' but he howls."

Paul's big eyes had indeed filled with sudden tears at his teacher's touch, but he faced his enemy bravely.

"It's all a lie," he reiterated. "You come outer here, an' I 'll show yer."

no water. He don't never swim except it's July or August. His mother-"

"You shut up!" blazed Paul. "It 's all a lie."

the boy a slight shake. Thoroughly annoyed, Miss Devons gave

What 's the trouble about?" "Keep quiet, Paul! Now, Mark, go on.

'T ain't nuttin' I kin tell yer. Finsen he "No, ma'am; I can't tell you dat. dunno is it a straight tip what dey says, was foolin', an' de kid got nutty, see? I but, anyway, 't ain't nuttin' I kin tell yer.'

to heed the scandalized looks of his mates; "I'll tell you," Paul broke in, too angry voice interrupted: but before he could continue, an agonized

"Paul, you mus' not! Eet ees not for

ladies to hear. Mees Devons, you no leesten, I beg-a you." Giuseppe was pleading with hands, eyes, and suppliant body. "No' for ladies-please-a, Mees Devons. Eet ees not nice at all."

"Aw, shut up!" George exclaimed sullenly. "It ain't nothin' so bad. Only somebody tells me how his mother puts papers round her kids an' sews 'em on in winter to keep 'em warm. An' they don't take 'em off till summer. kid?" "It's a lie!" shrieked Paul, glaring wildly around. "I'll show yer."

Ain't that so,

Before his horrified friends could interfere, he had torn off his jersey and stood before them in woefully thin flannels, his bare little ribs showing through many a big hole.

"Who says I got papers on?" he demanded. "I ain't no park bum, see?".

In another minute he would have discarded the shirt itself had Miss Devons not interfered.

"Put on your jersey, Paul!" she said, handing it to him. "And, George, the next time you want to tease, choose somebody of your own size. If there is any more trouble, I shall get off at the next stop and leave you to find your way home alone."

This threat sufficed to calm all angry passions, for the East-Sider is lost outside his own district, and Miss Devons returned to the girls, who were discussing the incident with horrified gusto.

"My, ain't it awful the way them boys scraps!" murmured M'ree, as she glanced at the combatants from under her curls. "Boys is somethin' fierce; they ain't got no more manners 'n a goat.'

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"It's a pity some one don't smack that George Finsen," Louisa May remarked briskly. "He 's awful fresh, I think."

Rockaway at last! Out tumbled eightyfour children, screaming with delight, dancing up and down in the dusty road, rolling headlong on the cool grass, pursuing every living creature within sight, and generally enjoying themselves. First they visited the beach, where the boys swam and the girls paddled to their hearts' content. Then who but little Paul was the


first to plunge into the blue water, scarcely waiting to don the suit provided for him in the bathing-tent; and who but Giuseppe Salvatori outswam the whole crowd, side stroke, back, and front, diving and under water? Even Mark, wharf-rat as he was, could not compete with the boy who, the year before, had been disporting himself in the Bay of Naples, and Miss Devons noted with quick pleasure that none took greater pride in the Italian's feats than Mark himself, former persecutor and now patron of the laughing-eyed Italian.

"Well, Giuseppe," she said, as he flung himself on the warm sand at her feet. "You are having a fine swim, are n't you? It must remind you of Italy."

He shook his head with a quick glance at her.

"Ah, no," he said softly; "no lak Italy, this sweem. Here eet ees all dead so soon

you go undaire. Ah close-a my eyes; all black, all lak dead man. In Italy eet ees so light, so gay, so blue, lak wine all-all way down."

He drew a long breath, and into his dark eyes crept a shadow.

"But you are happy here, aren't you, Giuseppe?"

"I am American," he answered proudly. "Some day I vote jus' lak Mark say. In Italy I no can vote lak here. Mark, he


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"Say, kid, I want yer!" Mark's voice rang out across the waves, and with a flashing smile of farewell Giuseppe raced off, proud to be called by his leader.

Meanwhile Etta had summoned up courage to join the other girls in wading and scrambling over the rocks and, quite carried away by the novel pastime, she had climbed to a respectable eminence before she looked back. When she did so, terror struck to her soul. Alone she stood upon a high rock the slippery sides of which she had ascended by means of footholds which now appeared hopelessly inadequate for support. Her appealing cries awoke screams of sympathy from the girls and shouts of advice from the boys; but these served only to bewilder her the more, and when Miss Devons arrived upon the scene she saw that the child was in real danger of falling headlong upon the rocks below.

"My, ain't it awful!" sighed Louisa May, who was, as usual, well to the fore. "I guess you an' me 'll have to break it to

her mommer, Florabel, seein' 's we seed her first."

"Oh, I could n't never do that," protested the gentle Florabel. "She 'd screech somethin' awful."

"Mebbe she 'll throw fits," Louisa May suggested hopefully. "That's what Mrs. Smith did when they brought Johnny home to her. Mommer was there, an' she says as how-"

"Hush, Louisa May!" said Miss Devons. "Don't be so silly. Try to sit down, Etta; we 'll bring you down in a few minutes, if you just keep quiet."

As she was girding up her skirts preparatory to scaling the rock, Mark O'Reilly dashed past her. He had been dressing when he heard the shouts, and had raced collarless and coatless to the scene of the disaster.

"Git back there!" he panted as he thrust himself in front of Miss Devons. "This ain't no job for you."

In a minute he had reached the top and

was instructing Etta

to mount upon his

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Terror kept Etta as immobile as a statue, and all went well until half-way down, when the boy's foot slipped, and catching at a hand-hold, a long scratch on his arm was made, from which the blood flowed. Without a sound he continued his descent until he stood on the beach, where he dumped Etta unceremoniously and strode off to finish his toilet, regardless of the cheers of the department. To his intense embarrassment, Miss Devons


pared to descend, at no time an entirely easy feat, and now


perilous indeed, with Mark's burden. Strong as he was for his age, he was only fourteen, and Miss Devons trembled for both the children.

"Wait, Mark!" she called to him. "We'll get a ladder from the house. Don't try to come down."

The advice was good, but Mark felt the eyes of his followers upon him, and with a grunt of disdain he turned slowly about and lowered himself inch by inch.

"You keep still!" he commanded Etta. "An' keep yer mouth shut, or I'm goin' to drop yer on purpose, an' you'll be mashed on the rocks."

insisted on thanking him publicly and binding up his arm, which continued to bleed. He stood before her awkwardly while she improvised a bandage from one of the bathingtowels; but when Etta crept up shyly, he turned upon her roughly and ordered her off.

"You ain't got no business foolin' wit' no rocks," he told her. "Don't you let me catch you on no more or I'll learn yer."

Etta was beaming. Mark, always a heroic figure in her eyes, now loomed gigantic, since he spoke to one of the inferior sex, as became one of the other. Thus it was in Germany, and so it

should be in every well-ordered land.

"Ach, nein," she protested, blushing softly. "Nefermore do I go on de so dreadful rocks. Nimmer, nimmer mehr." Mollified, Mark nodded.

"All right. Now yer kin carry up me coat. Much obliged, Teacher."

He swaggered off with his hands in his pockets, Etta following carefully with the coat, her face beaming.

By this time all had had their fill of the beach, and when as little clothing as possible had been replaced, and as much sand as could be had been shaken out of the boots,-Louisa May's no longer shiny

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and M'ree's no longer white,-they trooped up to the house, where a bountiful meal awaited them on the broad piazza. They ate and they drank, and they lay in the shade of the big trees until some of the boys discovered that half a mile down the road there was a merry-go-round, and about half the class trooped off to it, while the rest elected to lie on the soft grass and rest their weary little bodies.

But Giuseppe Salvatori, with his partner in the push-cart business, Abraham Weil, was at the moment unusually wealthy, and such a thing as going to a treat alone was not to be thought of.

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"Ah tell you w'at, Abey," he whispered as they were setting out. 'Ah get Florabel, an' you take-a Louisa May, an' we go to ride aroun'."

"Not on your life!" responded Abraham, shrewd offspring of a Scotch mother and a Hebrew father. "I don't spend me good money that way."

"Abey, I beg-a you," Giuseppe insisted. "Florabel she look at me. Ah t'ink she like ver' much to go. Ah no can ask her wit'out you ask Louisa May. Please-a, Abey, you do!"

"Tell you what," Abraham suggested.

"You come with me the rest of this week without pay, and I'll take the girl."

Originally the leavings of his uncle's fruit-shop had been in Giuseppe's hands to dispose of, but since he had taken in Abraham to wrestle with the business end, he had sold out, and now took only a certain percentage for the afternoons he accompanied young Weil upon his rounds, the latter having found that Giuseppe's smile doubled his business.

The Italian gladly agreed, and they set off in couples, the little girls mincing along with conscious pride just a step or two behind their lords and masters. Then Paul and M'ree paired off. Not that

Paul had any money; but he wished to see the posters, and M'ree wished to show her clothes, so they followed in line, while Georgie Finsen made his way toward Etta, who had now become a person of mark since, as Louisa May said, she might have been taken home in a coffin.

"I don't mind if I take you over," he declared lordlily. "Come on."

Etta's heart stood still. George was the richest and biggest boy in the department. That he should have singled her out! But

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